ABC Bible Character Faith Series

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

Lessons from Puah

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” – Proverbs 9:10.

The Israelites had enjoyed their lives in Egypt due to the service their father Joseph had offered to the nation during the long famine years. They had been granted land and were exempt from taxation. But as time passed, Joseph was old in age and soon passed. The account in Exodus states that there arose a new king who did not know Joseph. He refused to acknowledge Joseph’s works, now that he was dead.

The king was mainly concerned about Egypt’s prosperity and was threatened by an increase in the greatness of the Israelites. It was on this basis that he dealt shrewdly with them. First, he made them slaves with very taxing labour. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread abroad. He then passed a ruthless decree where he commanded the midwives to kill any son born to the Israelites. It is here that we encounter Puah who was a midwife along with Shiphrah.

When the midwives received word from the king, the Bible says, “They feared God and did not do as the king had commanded them, but let the male children live”. – Exodus 1:17. This was an act of courage by Puah but more importantly an act of faith. On our faith journeys, we might encounter situations where those in authority ask of us to do things against God’s will but we need to be bold and put the fear of God first in all we do.

I understand there are always questions on whether we should lie to save a life. This is often asked after studying Puah, Shiphrah and Rahab’s lives. The Bible is very clear about lies and deception. These are not condoned because they show that we are taking matters into our own hands. However, we know that God saves His own. This scheme was of the devil. Having known that the redeemer would come from the Israelites, he sought to destroy their lives but God had a plan in place.

Part of our faith journey is for us to live in line with God’s will. This is His expressed principles of living, in His word. It is upon us to study the word and apply it in our lives because “how can we speak the truth unless our minds are continually guided by Him who is truth.” – M.B p.68.  We do not need to be or act deceptive in order to achieve good. We have been told, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” – Revelation 2:10

Lastly, I would like us to meditate on God’s word as the truth. “God’s commandments are not burdensome” – 1 John 5:3. We are also told, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13. On this journey, we need to understand that we will never be brought to a place where yielding to evil becomes a necessity.

Be blessed! 

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